Top 5 Helicopter Tours on Kauai
Buckle up and get ready to soar over the Garden Isle with your favorite helicopter tours from our 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards.
Only 10% of Kauai, the oldest of the Hawaiian Islands, can be traversed via car. If you’re eager to see the rest of the island’s hidden valleys and secret waterfalls, take the leap and try out one of these top-rated helicopter tours from our 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards.
1. Island Helicopters
For over 38 years, Island Helicopters has been taking visitors to see the natural beauty of Kauai. It’s the only company authorized to land at the 400-foot Manawaiopuna Falls, renowned for its appearance in the 1993 film “Jurassic Park,” in its Jurassic Falls Helicopter Landing Adventure. This 75- to 80-minute excursion, which includes the company’s primary, daily Kauai Grand Deluxe Circle Island Tour featuring views of the Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon, lands near the base of Manawaiopuna Falls. From there, visitors can take pictures, go on a short walk through the jungle and learn about endemic plants and the many landmarks hidden within the lush rainforest. The helicopters are air-conditioned and the company keeps the doors on during both tours for safety and ease. All pilots are Kauai residents and the company has also been used in the filming of movies such as “Jurassic Park” and “50 First Dates.” 3788 Ahukini Road, Lihue, (808) 245-8588, islandhelicopters.com
2. Blue Hawaiian Helicopters
Blue Hawaiian Helicopters will take you through the green Hanapepe Valley, over dormant volcano Mount Waialeale (which gets over 450 inches of rain annually) and around the jaw-dropping Napali Coast in its renowned helicopter tours. In its 45-minute Princeville-based Discover Kauai tour, you’ll see northern and central Kauai, and in the 50-minute Lihue-based Kauai Eco Adventure, you’ll be taken all around the island—all in the comfort of state-of-the-art helicopters. Videos of your tour are available for purchase and you can even charter private tours starting at $2,320 an hour—but don’t worry, this price is for six passengers, not per person. Blue Hawaiian Helicopters also has tours on Maui, Oahu and Hawaii Island. Locations in Lihue and Princeville, (808) 245-5800, bluehawaiian.com/kauai
3. Safari Helicopters
With two tour options, Safari Helicopters is ready to take you into the untouched wilderness of Kauai. Try out its Deluxe Waterfall Safari: It runs 60 minutes and spans 100 miles of stunning vistas including the Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon. If you’re looking to take your experience to the next level, go on the company’s Refuge Eco-Tour, which covers the same ground as the Deluxe Waterfall Safari but includes a landing at Kauai Wildlife Preserve. You’ll spend nearly an hour soaking up the unreal views of Olokele Canyon before jumping back into the helicopter for the rest of your tour. Most Safari Helicopters pilots are trained military veterans and all of them are highly skilled. The company has been doing helicopter tours for more than 30 years. Safari Helicopters also has tours on Hawaii Island. 3225 Akahi St., Lihue, (808) 326-3356, safarihelicopters.com
4. Jack Harter Helicopters
Founded in 1962, Jack Harter Helicopters is one of the oldest and most reputable names in the business. Take off on its 60- to 65-minute tour, which explores places like the booming Wailua Falls, known for its appearance on TV’s “Fantasy Island,” and quiet Nawiliwili Harbor. The company also offers a 90- to 95-minute tour—the only one of its length on the island—for those looking for a more detailed look at Kauai. You can enjoy the air conditioning and floor-to-ceiling windows of the company’s A-Star copters or the thrilling doors-off experience of its Hughes 500—available for 60- to 65-minute tours and private chartering only. No matter what, you’ll be seeing a whole new side of the island. 4231 Ahukini Road, Lihue, (808) 245-3774, helicopters-kauai.com
5. Sunshine Helicopters
On Sunshine Helicopters’ 50- to 55-minute Ultimate Kauai Adventure Tour, you’ll learn the mythology and background of the island. With its first-class seating option, you can reserve the best seats on the helicopter while immersing yourself in Kauai’s unique landscape. If you’re willing to get up a little bit earlier, you can save a few bucks with the company’s early-bird tour. After your flight, take the adventure home with you by buying the flight video from your tour. Interisland transfers and private tours are also available, starting at $2,200 an hour for up to six passengers. You can also find Sunshine Helicopters on Maui and Hawaii Island. 3416 Rice St., Suite 203, Lihue, (808) 270-3999, sunshinehelicopters.com/kauai-helicopter-tours